Accessibility index to public facilities for prioritisation of community access road development

Nemvumoni, Fhatuwani Lesley (2017-03)

Thesis (MEng)--Stellenbosch University, 2017.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: A number of studies have acknowledged the positive impacts that rural roads have on the social and economic development of a region. This impact is due to the increased accessibility offered by road development. The effect of the social impact, however, has proven to be difficult to quantify, with many studies opting to use ratings to define this impact. The need to quantify the social impact arises from the need to aid decision-making processes, which seek to identify or prioritise the most cost effective projects. This is more often the case in rural communities where a typical economic prioritisation method, such as a cost-benefit analysis, will likely yield unfavourable results because of the low traffic volumes present on these roads. The method proposed for prioritisation in this research introduces an accessibility index that takes into account the accessibility provided by the road infrastructure, and by transportation modes, and by public facilities such as public schools and clinics. The data required to formulate and validate the model was collected in three villages located in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. The accessibility provided by the road infrastructure is quantified as the percentage of the length of the road link that conforms to road classification standards. The standards relate to travel speed for motorised transport and cross sectional dimensions for non-motorised transport. The probabilities of a preference to use a facility or transport mode are used as accessibility indices for the facilities and the transport modes. The probabilities are a result of stated preference experiments, which take into account the different quality attributes of public facilities, and characteristics of the transport mode. The final weighted accessibility index is obtained by considering the number of users in each observed facility in South Africa and the budget allocated to it. This enables the accessibility index to be converted further into a monetary value that is compared with the cost of successfully completing the project and the figures that arise from alternative projects. The facilities investigated were selected with the guidance of the National Development Plan (NDP) and included public schools and public healthcare facilities. The exercise resulted in accessibility indices that were used successfully to rank seven hypothetical projects from two of the identified villages. The research showed that, for low-volume roads, non-motorised transport modes are just as important as motorised transport modes. Other key findings were made which illustrated significant variables that influence preference for transport modes, school attendance and clinic visitation.

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